City council voted yesterday to put a stop to hotel-to-condo conversions, but not for forever. The original legislation, pushed for by the New York Hotel Trades Council, called for a complete ban on conversions, but the Daily News reportsthat City Council decided to institute a two-year moratorim and conduct a study to determine the economic effects of conversions. The bill affects hotels with more than 150 rooms; owners of smaller hotels can still opt to convert, but they’ll need approval from the Board of Standards and Appeals.
The hotel workers union, obviously, is pleased by the vote, seeing as they don’t want any more jobs lost to condos, as is Councilman Councilman Corey Johnson, who sponsored the bill. He said that more than 1,000 people have already lost jobs. Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is also in favor of the vote because conversions created “‘super duper luxury housing’ out of reach to most New Yorkers.”
Hotel owners and real estate professionals, on the other hand, are expectedly outraged. A spokesperson for the Real Estate Board of New York told the News, “We think it’s illegal. We think it’s unconstitutional. And we cannot imagine that there will not be a lawsuit to strike it from being put into effect.”